By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv.si
The Constitutional Court, which the Constitutional judge Klemen Jaklič recently called the COVID court, is being transformed into the third branch of the left-wing opposition, with the help of the Čeferin family. Not long ago, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Government’s decision to extend the measures from the Ordinance on the temporary restriction of gathering of people at the public places and areas would not enter into force, because the measures were not published in the Official Gazette, then it temporarily suspended the implementation of the Act on the Provision of Funds for Investments in the Slovenian Armed Forces, and now it has suspended the provision from the anti-corona legislative package, regarding the extension of accreditations to higher education institutions.
According to the Slovenian Press Agency, the Constitutional Court suspended the implementation of the provision of the sixth anti-corona legislative package, which regulates the extension of the accreditations for the higher education institutions, until their final decision. They unanimously decided to also suspend the procedures for extending the accreditations under the Higher Education Act until their final decision, and the procedures for the extraordinary evaluation of the higher education institutions have also been stopped completely. According to the Constitutional Court, if the impugned article were to be enforced and it would later be proven that it was adopted in an unconstitutional procedure, which would therefore mean that the Constitutional Court would have to annul it, harmful consequences could arise that could not be remedied. That is why they decided to suspend the implementation of the impugned article until the final decision on its constitutionality.
The Constitutional Arch Coalition parties LMŠ, Levica, SD and SAB, opposed the provision from the sixth anti-corona legislative package because they believe that the solution was tailored to help the private New University, which would otherwise find it difficult to extend its accreditation. The New University responded to the accusations and made it clear that they had never had, nor do they currently have any problems with the institutional accreditation of their university and its members or their study programmes. The amendment to the Higher Education Act from 2016 changed the conditions for the establishment of a higher education institution, stipulating that the changed, stricter conditions for the already-established institutions should be checked at the first subsequent extension of accreditation. Due to the epidemic, the sixth anti-corona legislative package, which was passed in November, extended this deadline and stipulated that higher education institutions must meet the changed conditions at the time of their second extension of accreditation.
The COVID court under the influence of the Čeferin family
The request to assess the constitutionality of the provision of the anti-corona legislative package, which talks about accreditations, was filed by the former rector of the University of Maribor, Danijel Rebolj, who believes that the change to the provision was included in the anti-corona legislative package for reasons, unrelated to the mitigation of the consequences of the epidemic. He proposed that the Constitutional Court suspend the implementation of the provision until the final decision. In the decision to temporarily suspend the implementation of this provision, the Constitutional Court assessed that the issuance of possible decisions on the first extension of accreditation for the higher education institutions in a modified manner would mean that the accreditation of these higher education institutions would be extended under unequal, less strict conditions than the conditions for those who had already had to undergo the assessment of compliance. If the provision from the sixth anti-corona legislative package turns out to be unconstitutional, this would have no effect on the decision to extend accreditations to higher education institutions, which would have already gotten the final decision by then. The Constitutional Court judges suspended the implementation of the impugned article until the final decision on its constitutionality.
Not long ago, the Constitutional Court judge Klemen Jaklič, Ph.D., pointed out the professional mistakes of the majority in a certain case and added that the Constitutional Court is transforming itself into a kind of “COVID court,” which professionally decides on the matters for which it is not even competent. Jaklič also disagreed with some of his fellow judges who temporarily suspended the implementation of the Act on the Provision of Funds for Investments in the Slovenian Armed Forces. Among the signatories of the resolution adopted by the Constitutional Court, is also Rok Čeferin, Ph.D. It is therefore quite safe to assume that with the help of the Čeferin family, the Constitutional Court is slowly changing into a kind of a third branch of the left-wing opposition.